The Surprising Cornerstone to a Sound Financial Strategy

The Surprising Cornerstone to a Sound Financial Strategy

The success of a solid financial strategy might rest squarely on choosing the correct life insurance policy. Possibly due to its nature, life insurance is a subject matter most seek to avoid when creating a financial strategy. And most people are optimistic. Who wants to imagine themselves out of the picture when they are thinking about their loved one’s futures?

Yet each day folks face life-changing situations. The local news is filled with stories of people passing… Some gently and some in terrible and unexpected ways. The truth is that all of us want to live to old age, yet there are those dealing with death. Were they prepared? Are you?

When families think about the future, they envision a time with multiple generations gathered around for the Holidays. For some is an inspiration to work hard to make this future vision come to fruition. Yet one cancer diagnoses can shatter that vision. So can a stroke. Same with an auto accident. Left without a parent, income, and spouse a family is left emotionally broken. And this is often compounded with poor planning that also leaves the family destitute.

As you think about life insurance within your financial strategy, there are two key questions to ask. Am I covered? Do I have enough coverage?

Am I covered? It’s a simple question. Without life insurance, you would leave your household in a situation where they may have to sell their belonging, take on more work, and where children could potentially be separated.

Do I have enough coverage? This can be a little more challenging. You may think you have enough life insurance. When was the last time you sat with a qualified life insurance specialist to make sure? Life circumstances change as we age and life insurance must be updated to keep pace with those changes. After all, you want to KNOW your family is adequately protected… you want to be sure you have real security in place.

And while you’re at it… you should investigate disability and long-term care coverage as well. Both help to ease financial burdens in situations where a life-altering event has occurred that you may have survived but that has left you unable to function in the same way as you did before. A solid plan considers all of the possibilities… including the most uncomfortable.

For more details on life insurance policies call today. We’ll help you build a solid insurance plan for your future.

It’s As Easy As Apple Pie!

It’s As Easy As Apple Pie!

This is a fantastic time to rediscover apples. There are so many different tasty varieties. From an apple compote to sliced raw apple, there are many ways to enjoy this fruit. And best of all, the truism of ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ may be more on the spot than most recognize.

1. Apples may lower diabetes risk.

Several research studies indicate a connection between apple intake and a minimized threat of type-two diabetes. In China 2017, a study of 500,000 individuals found those consuming daily fruit (primarily apples) were 12% less likely to develop type-two diabetes compared with those that rarely eat fruit.

2. Apples may decrease cancer danger.

Research at Cornell found numerous substances within apple peels, which inhibit cancer growth or in many cases, get rid of cancer cells totally. The research study discovered strong relationships between apple peels and anti-cancer activity in the colon, breast, and liver. A number of other medical studies link apple intake to minimized threat for cancer.

3. Apples might assist with weight loss.

A medium-sized apple has someplace around 95 fiber-rich calories (around 18% the suggested daily value). Apples are more-filling, boasting a high water material. Fruit and veggie flavonoids have been connected to a host of health advantages. The flavonoids in apples are strongly-correlated to assisting with weight reduction.

The bottom line…

Apples, when combined with a healthy diet and way of life can improve health and energy levels. As always, consume plenty of water and constantly consult a health expert before beginning a diet plan or workout programs.

Diabetes and Cancer May be Linked

A new meta-analysis has found that people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing cancer than those without diabetes. Also, the risk seems to be greater in women, according to the recent findings.

After analyzing data from over 19 million people who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it was found that women with diabetes were 27% more likely to develop cancer than women without diabetes. On the other hand, men with diabetes were 19% more likely to develop cancer than men without diabetes. When looking at both men and women who had diabetes, it was found that the women have a 6% higher overall risk of developing cancer when compared to the diabetes-affected men.

Different types of cancer

When analyzing different types of cancers, women with diabetes generally still have an increased risk of the developing most of the cancers when compared to men with diabetes. For example, women with diabetes were found to have an 11% higher risk of kidney cancer, a 13% higher risk of oral cancer, a 14% higher risk of stomach cancer, and a 15% higher risk of leukemia.

On the other hand, men who have diabetes were found to have a 12% higher risk of developing liver cancer when compared to women with diabetes. Despite this, women still tend to fare worse than men, at least according to the results of the study.

Why does this happen?

Researchers have some hypotheses about why this may be happening to women. For instance, women tend to have higher blood glucose levels than men. Although this obviously affects diabetes, higher blood-glucose levels can also damage DNA, which could lead to cancer. Researcher Toshiaki Ohkuma explains:

“Women often spend a longer duration than men in the prediabetic stage [of the disease], where glucose levels are high. [After being diagnosed] women are often undertreated or not getting the same level of treatment as men.”

A study from 2015 also showed that women were less likely than men to take the medication required to control their blood glucose levels and keep them low. Due to this, diabetic women are more likely to have blood-glucose levels which are uncontrolled for greater periods of time, wreaking more havoc on their body when compared to diabetic men, who tend to seek treatment and blood sugar regulation much sooner.

Limitations of the study

It is not clear why women with diabetes appear to have inflated risks of cancer when compared to diabetic men, however, the limitations of the study may be somewhat telling. For example, the study highlights that it did not factor in phenomena unique to women such as pregnancy, periods, menopause, and HRT, all of which may have the potential to skew the results according to differing circumstances.

If you have diabetes and you’re worried about your risk of developing cancer or other illnesses, you may also worry about how this will affect your life insurance prospects. For honest and insightful information about insurance which is tailored to your needs, get in touch with our team today!

Final Expense Plans for Patients with Terminal Illness

Final Expense Plans for Patients with Terminal Illness

If a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, needless to say, it is enormously difficult. If the person is the breadwinner of the family, this makes the situation even more complex too. However, final expense plans are a way of making the family’s burdens a little easier, providing them with funds which can be used to pay for things such as funeral expenses. Nonetheless, final expense insurance can be very difficult to acquire successfully, especially if your family member is terminally ill but not deceased.

Difficulties for those with terminal illnesses

Those with terminal illnesses and/or serious diseases are expected to have shorter life expectancies than someone the same age as them who is otherwise fit and healthy. Insurance companies work based on risk calculations, and someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness obviously presents a large risk to an insurance company, making them more of a liability financially.

These risk calculations are carried out whatever kind of insurance you end up getting. However, final expense insurance already has death in mind, so you can expect to face difficulties if you’re expecting to have a shorter life expectancy than other people in your demographic. Nonetheless, some insurance providers will offer an insurance plan to patients who are seriously ill, leaving the vast majority of terminally ill people with two options.

Option #1: Life Insurance Plans

Life insurance plans accumulate cash throughout your life, paying out to the beneficiaries upon the death of the policyholder. The money which is paid out can be used to take care of funeral expenses, as well as lifelong debts and other essential expenses related to one’s passing. Life insurance plans come in different forms, such as Whole Life Insurance and Term Life Insurance, and different types of life insurance plan may suit different people depending on their needs, life expectancy, and circumstances.

Option #2: Final Expense Plans

Final expense plans are designed to specifically take care of funeral costs when the policyholder passes away. These plans also allow you to dictate how you want to be remembered when you pass on. For example, you can specify whether you want to be buried or cremated, and you can say whether or not you would like there to be a wake after your funeral.

Although it sounds complex, you simply need to fill out some online forms in order to find the top final expense insurance quotes from a wide range of insurance providers, all of which have their own unique perks and advantages. The insurance carrier you go to will be sure to comply with the requests you made when you took out the policy, and you can adjust your coverage and premiums according to your needs and wishes.

Talking about funeral costs and passing on is difficult at the best of times, but it doesn’t need to be made worse by financial struggles. To talk about final expenses insurance plans for those with a terminal illness, speak to a member of our team today!

Biggest Reasons to Get Health Insurance

Biggest Reasons to Get Health Insurance

Health insurance is one of the easiest ways to protect your family (and yourself) in times of crisis in the US. Unless you’re able to afford potentially crippling medical bills after a visit to the doctor, you should certainly consider investing in health insurance to give yourself some peace of mind. Here we offer you the best reasons to get health insurance.


Obviously, this is the biggest reason. The US Department of Health and Human Services reported in 2016 that the annual medical bill for each US citizen was a staggering $10,345. Although your medical bills may be relatively low right now, this can quickly change if you develop a serious condition. A decent health insurance policy will shift all (or most) of these costs to your insurance company, leaving you financially well-off in times of need.

Less Anxiety

Many of us enjoy having decent insurance plans because it allows us to have “peace of mind” that we’re going to be okay should any problems arise. Even if you are relatively healthy right now, you may have conditions which run in your family that could affect you in the future. Having health insurance in place simply allows people who are prone to worrying to relax a bit more, knowing they are going to be okay if their health should deteriorate or worrying symptoms should appear.

You’re More Like to Stay Healthy

Many US citizens who do not have health insurance will avoid visiting a doctor if they develop strange symptoms or feel unwell – they would rather save the money on the doctor’s visit, or perhaps cannot afford to go at all. As a result, they may end up becoming seriously ill or developing a life-threatening condition (such as cancer) which could have been easily prevented or caught early by simply going to the doctor.

The Government Currently Makes it Cheap

Although the Affordable Care Act by called into question under Trump, it still currently allows many families to get health insurance policies at large discounts if they purchase them through their state’s health insurance exchange. Levels vary depending on your income, but you could be entitled to sizeable tax credits every month, meaning that you will be able to protect you and your family for a few dollars per month due to government subsidies – something you would be wise to take advantage of while it’s still around!

You May Get Fined if You Don’t Have it

As strange a system as it is, you may be fined if you don’t have health insurance according to the ACA. As of 2015, adults could be fined $325 for themselves, $162.50 for their children, or 2% of their overall annual earnings, whichever amount is greater. Although a government penalizing its people for not having health insurance is a strange system, it may be their way of telling you that it’s for the greater good.

Preventive Care

If you have a health insurance plan, you are entitled to a number of preventive health services which the federal government provides for free. For example, you will be guaranteed free blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening, vaccines, colorectal cancer screening, and much more. There are even services which help you to curb any health-harming habits surrounding tobacco and alcohol. These preventive care services are likely to help you maintain a healthier lifestyle and catch certain insidious ailments before they worsen, meaning you are more likely to be healthy going forward.

You’ll Manage Your Health More Effectively

If you don’t have health coverage of some kind, the cost of medical bills, medication, and treatment can be overwhelming and difficult to manage, leading many people to ignore their doctor’s orders because they simply cannot afford the drugs and treatment they should be seeking. If you’re avoiding surgeries or adequate drug doses because you can’t afford them, it goes without saying that you’re more likely to see your health decline, sending you into a vicious circle whereby your health deteriorates and your bills rise, making your both poor and ill.

There are many different kinds of health coverage available out there, and it can be hard to know which type of insurance is right for you. If you’re looking for affordable health insurance which protects both your body and your bank account, speak to a member of our passionate team today!

What’s the Best Life Insurance For You

What's the Best Life Insurance For You

Who needs life insurance exactly? Is it just for middle-aged people who support a family? Life insurance could be a good idea depending on many different factors in your life, and here we list a few of the most important.


If you are thinking about starting a family, you should certainly consider buying life insurance, and rates will be cheaper now than when your children are already growing up. On the other hand, if your family is already existent, you especially need life insurance. This could apply to parents whether they are a “breadwinner” or “house husband/wife”, as replacing either of those roles could prove costly in different ways.

Homeowners and mortgage holders

If you’re buying a mortgage, you can opt to choose a life insurance policy which covers your mortgage debt and would safeguard the interest, meaning you wouldn’t have to purchase separate mortgage insurance. In this case, life insurance can see to it that your mortgage debts are paid off if you die, leaving your family and loved ones with nothing to worry about financially.

Couples without children

In this situation, both partners would have to consider if they could individually support themselves if their partner died. If they couldn’t, life insurance may be a good idea. However, if one of you earns more than the other, this process can become complex. You may want to consider first-to-die life insurance policies (lovely name) which mean that one partner receives the death benefit if the other dies first.

People who are insured through their employer

You can still buy your own life insurance policy even if your employer provides you with one. Relying on an employer life insurance policy is risky, mostly because you could lose your job or the company could go under. Furthermore, you’ll lose the policy if you switch companies, complicating the process further. Even if you have been with the same employer for decades, a small backup life insurance policy of your own is not a bad idea if you’re looking to cover all your bases.

Business owners

People who own a business or have a business partner are incredibly important to the functioning of many people’s lives (i.e. your staff could lose their jobs if you die). As a result, you may be wise to opt for a life insurance policy which takes your business obligations into account and softens the financial blow to your empire should you pass away.

Your parents

You can buy life insurance on your parents, securing a death benefit to yourself as the beneficiary when they pass away. Assuming you are paying the premiums, you should put yourself down as an irrevocable beneficiary in order to secure the investment. If you do this when your parents are still young, it could be a wise financial decision.

As you age

If you are elderly and no one depends on you financially, traditional life insurance would not be necessary. However, you may wish to take out a policy which covers your funeral expenses, although this may not be easy to come across. One thing to consider, however, is that life insurance in your later years could protect your estate from being subjected to steep taxes, retaining its value and leaving more money to your heirs once you pass away. Nonetheless, this is a complicated process, and it’s best to speak to an attorney if you’re looking to save on taxes in this manner.

Young single adults

As a young single adult, you may require life insurance to pay for your own funeral costs in the event of your death, or you may support someone financially who isn’t a child or spouse, such as an elderly parent or family member. Also, the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper your life insurance premiums will ultimately be, making them cheaper as you age and if you decide to start a family in the future.

With so many types of life insurance out there, it’s no surprise that people get confused. If you need help with getting the right life insurance for you in your personal circumstances, speak to us today and take note of our industry-leading advice!

When Investing in Life Insurance Makes Sense…

When Investing in Life Insurance Makes Sense…

Life insurance is usually best purchased when you’re relatively young and healthy, although there are different kinds of life insurance to peruse, such as universal policies and whole life policies. Bear in mind that different life insurance types make you eligible for different payments upon your death, with whole life policies growing due to dividends and paid-up additions while universal policies tend to stay the same.

Of course, life insurance is inherently complicated and changeable depending on your personal circumstances, so be sure to educate yourself and remain in the loop regarding your policy. Here we give you some tips on when life insurance makes sense for you.

When you know what you’re getting into

Before taking out life insurance, you should understand how it works and what it entitles you and your beneficiaries to.

Also bear in mind that insurance costs grow with time, meaning that the cash value of a policy will inevitably change. Before signing, you need to be armed with knowledge about any costs and fees, as well as future projections too. This information will help you to make well-informed life insurance decisions.

When you’re the appropriate age

If you’re looking for universal and whole life insurance policies, you should ideally be someone in your 30s or 40s who is financially disciplined and able to make the necessary payments on time. On the contrary, term life insurance is usually cheaper and thus better when you’re still investing funds into a diversified portfolio. As Marc Lichtenfeld, chief income strategist for The Oxford Club says:

“Even if you pay your premium every month for years and obtain the full benefits of the [permanent] policies, the total returns will be roughly equal to that of a diversified stock portfolio. So you really don’t come out ahead.”

As a result, it is important to consider your life stage and financial future when deciding to take out life insurance of a certain kind.

When you know how risky you want to be

Some people buy insurance purely for the safety of having insurance and protecting themselves and their loved ones down the road. On the other hand, sometimes people are a little riskier and buy insurance because of the cash value’s potential gains in the future. If you’re a riskier person who is buying the policy for its cash value growth, then you should aim to fund the policy with the maximum amount, as this will encourage the policy to gain consistently.

On the other hand, universal and whole life insurance policies can equip you with tax advantages. As a result, insurance can be issued as a non-MEC or modified endowment contract, with non-MECs being treated like a Roth IRA when it comes to taxes. If you manage the gains properly and effectively, there will be no tax due on the gains apart from when you withdraw them.

When you’re able to afford it

It’s easy for baby boomers to sit back in their comfy homes and tell millennials that they should be investing in life insurance right now, but this isn’t always possible for younger people or those with lower incomes. As the cost of living rises but wages don’t adequately rise with it, people are cutting back on expenses wherever possible, and life insurance is something which many people simply aren’t concerned with in their day-to-day lives. Although you could argue that this is unwise, it may be a good idea to find your feet with a car, house, decent career, and the beginnings of a retirement fund before looking into a good life insurance policy.

Life insurance policies are among the most confusing and misunderstood policies when it comes to insurance. If you’re having trouble navigating your way around the complicated world of life insurance policies and you aren’t sure whether you should invest in one, speak to us today and listen to our industry-leading advice.

Being Heart Health at All Ages

Being Heart Health at All Ages

Despite increases in medical technology and increased pushes for healthy lifestyles, heart disease remains the #1 killer in the United States, killing one American every 40 seconds. However, this condition is not something you should only focus on as you get older – you need to think about it at every stage of your life. As Jorge Gonzalez, MD explains:

“While heart disease is most prevalent in people aged 60 and older, it can begin to develop much earlier in life. Cardiovascular disease affects more than 35 percent of people aged 39 and older, and more than 10 percent of those aged 20 to 39. That’s why it is so important to live a heart-healthy lifestyle at every age.”

Here we offer you our tips for being heart-healthy at all ages.

20s to 30s

Yearly health exams and screenings are a good idea when you’re young, and it’s also a good idea to know what diseases or ailments run in your family and what you’re at risk for in the future. If you’re a smoker, do yourself a favor and quit now, as this is the single best thing you can do for your health going forward. You should also aim to establish a regular gym routine, as building your strength and cardiovascular activity now will make it easier to continue as you age. During this period of your life, you may undergo a whirlwind of stressful changes, so it’s a good time to find some stress management techniques which work for you, such as meditation and breathing control.

40s to 50s

Try your best to maintain a gym routine which keeps your cardiovascular workouts and strength training up. Although exercise can seem like less of a necessity as you have more and more responsibilities, you cannot be expected to fulfill your responsibilities if you’re not fit and well! If you’re a woman going through menopause, this can affect your heart health due to hormonal changes, and this is a good time to consult your physician. At this age, it’s more important than ever to attend yearly wellness exams and checkups, even if you feel fine. You could feel fine and still develop serious illnesses or heart problems which get out of hand before they are identified! Be sure to know the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes.

60s and older

It may be worth speaking to your doctor about an ankle-brachial index test. This is a test which measures pulses in your feet, thereby helping to diagnose peripheral artery disease (PAD), a form of cardiovascular disease which manifests as plaque build-up in the legs. At this age, you should also eat a healthier diet than ever, as your metabolism will have greatly slowed down. Be sure to continue exercising as you age, even if it’s just going for brisk walks. Contrary to popular belief, avoiding exercise will only make you age and wear out even more quickly. Swimming is a good method of exercise if your joints aren’t quite what they used to be!

General tips at all ages

Heart-healthy diets are high in proteins, fruits, and veggies while being low on saturated fats. Furthermore, complex carbohydrates such as bread, legumes, rice, and pasta are conducive to good heart health. You should also aim to exercise regularly in order to keep your cardiovascular system strong, remain a healthy weight, and keep unhealthy cholesterol/blood pressure levels at bay. Finally, quit smoking. It’s the single best thing you can do for your health, period.

Minimizing your risk of heart disease is one of the easiest ways to prolong your life and ensure good health. Speak to a member of our team today if you’re worried about your heart health.

Take Control of Your Migraines by Changing What You Eat

Take Control of Your Migraines by Changing What You Eat

Millions of people suffer from migraines on a regular basis. There are many reasons why the often-disabling event occurs, with food being amongst the top culprits.

Diet links back to a number of conditions, affecting a lot about an individual’s wellbeing. When it comes to migraines, the responsibility pinned on food differs. Some stats say that diet is responsible for around a third of headaches, while other reports, such as from Dr. Fred Freitag of the Milwaukee Medical College of Wisconsin, say that food could be responsible for up to 60% of migraines.

The finger of blame is pointed at a vast range of food types and additives, from amino acid salts to chocolate, cheese, and alcohol. When you add caffeine into the mix, the responsibility of diet for migraine occurrence only goes up.

Top Foods to Avoid for Migraine Control

The two big foods to avoid, when trying to prevent migraines, are caffeine and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Just a couple cups of coffee a day can be enough to start triggering migraines, while MSG can be a little difficult to spot in foods, put also plays a pretty big role.

To lower your risk of migraines, there are other key foods to avoid as well. Primarily, these are foods that contain tyramine, an amino acid. Some foods that you could consider eliminating from your diet, or closely monitoring, include:

  • Sour cream
  • Ripened cheeses
  • Alcohol
  • Certain nuts
  • Tofu and other soy-based foods
  • Broad, fava, and lima beans
  • Fruits – figs, citrus fruits, papayas, avocados, and raisins
  • Cured meats

Behind the Scenes

The reasoning behind the link between food and migraines is believed to be due to the stimulating effect that certain foods have, causing the constriction of brain blood vessels. Why this can trigger some people, and not others, is believed to be because some people don’t have the enzyme that is needed to deal with tyramine effectively, allowing it to have more of an affect on the body.

Foods high in additives can often causes a headache to appear within a short timeframe, around 30 minutes. In contrast, the disposal of tyramine can cause migraines to be triggered and result in headaches that don’t appear for up to 24 hours.

Top Foods to Add to Your Diet

Just as there are foods that can cause migraines, there are foods that can help your body to prevent them. Some of the key foods that you should be including in your diet, are:

  • B vitamin rich foods, such as: whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and beans.
  • Magnesium rich foods, such as: spinach, edamame, whole wheat, and peas.

A Healthier Looking Future

The best way to reduce your migraine risk is to keep track of the food you’re eating and see which foods lead to a migraine occurring. Just a few changes to your diet may drastically reduce the number of migraines that you have to cope with.

Worried about the number of migraines that you have, and need advice on where you stand with health insurance? Call us today for professional advice on all areas of insurance.

Getting the Most Back from Your Health Insurance in 2018

Getting the Most Back from Your Health Insurance in 2018

It’s understandable that you want to get the best service possible from your health insurance. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to ensure that you’re getting the full benefit of your health insurance, from understanding just what your insurance covers, to discovering what benefits are available on your plan.

Looking for advice on how to stay healthy in your everyday life, and get the right level of care? Check out our four top tips for getting the most back from your health insurance in 2018:

1.) Understand the Ins and Outs of Your Personal Health Coverage

Depending on the type of insurance plan that you have, how much you need to personally pay for services and the providers that are made visible to, you will change. To fully understand your health coverage, make sure that you get a copy of the ‘Summary of Benefits and Coverage’, which will cover just what your health insurance entitles you to receive.

Your insurance company should provide you with a copy of the ‘Summary of Benefits and Coverage’, or you can also get a copy of the plan from your Marketplace account. Using the summary, there are a number of things that you can check, including:

  • The benefits covered
  • Your coverage limitations
  • The cost sharing rules\

2.) Make Sure You Use the Free Prevention Benefits

Each of the different Marketplace plans will provide a range of different preventive services. These are available without you having to pay out at all. Some of the services that you might be able to get, include:

  • Patient Counselling
  • Wellness Services
  • Check-ups
  • Certain Screenings

To access these, you have to make sure that you’re using a provider that is covered by the network in your plan. You can take a look at the complete list of services that are covered by your plan, here.

3.) Find Out About the Prescription Benefits

It’s important to know just what your health plan can cover your for, especially when it comes to prescriptions, and the types of benefits on offer. Many health plans will provide partial financial assistance for a select range of prescription medications.

You can find out the exact prescriptions that you’re covered for by your plan in a multitude of ways, including:

  • Calling your insurance company or visiting their website
  • Looking over the ‘Summary of Benefits and Coverage’
  • Taking a look at the materials that you have received through the mail

4.) Get a Doctor That Is Covered by Your Plan

A key benefit of health plans is your ability to get the top deals on certain services when you choose to visit a doctor that is covered by the network in your health plan. To truly get the most back from your health insurance, it’s important to find an in-network doctor with full coverage!

Worried that you’re not getting the most back from your insurance, and want more from your plan?